I had to grab a bottle of this upon learning that it was discontinued, and as a lover of heliotrope, and having used heliotropin in my own perfume making experiments, this is undoubtedly a HELIOTROPE soliflore.
I am assuming most reviewers here have not smelled heliotrope flowers and the closest association that they could make is the accompanying almond, which is for sure there, but to my nose, serves as a supporting note to build the heliotrope accord (as are the vanilla and iris). In the heart, I sense some similarities with Guerlain Après l'Ondée, though Etro is more a winsome smile to Guerlain's melancholic reflection.
The cherry pie warmth and Play Doh character of Etro Heliotrope and of true heliotrope flowers is what makes them so irresistible to me. The dry down is powdery, but not exceedingly so, and the base of tolu balsam and peru balsam, with their leathery, darkly resinous but mildly sweet qualities, prevent the composition from being too light in the loafers, so its unisex, just find the right occasion.
I personally would find this most pleasing at night before bedtime, much like Royal Bain de Caron.
Like fantasy orgasm.it reminds me of Monica Bellucci on her sexiest possible scenario - while also engaging whatever breath work feels best to she - and immerse herlself in it,imaging the touch and the atmosphere.really get herself into the scene,and just keep using her imagination until she and her fantasy self-climax.
A delicious and very rich almond confection scent.seriously this is a gourmand almond scent. it starts off like amaretto liqueur (like afluffy sugary almond confection with a hint of marzipan doused in amaretto).it ends up with lots of heliotrope with the scent of bitter almonds and slight woods.into the dry down,it's much more pleasant. heavenly,fluffy.it is irresistible.so feminine,and like a soothing balm for stressed nerves.
Initial blast was frankly unpleasant to me; happily I couldn't get to a place to wash it off....and hung onlong enough to have a LOVELY surprise..but mellowed nicely and cozy scent with decent longevity. Definitely going for a second trial, putting it on a bit earlier so the first hit is over by the time I leave home.
Heliotrope might as well be a fictional plant for all I know. I don't know what it looks like and I've never smelled it but I'm drawn to scents known for prominent heliotrope notes. I may not know the scent of the plant but I know the infamous notes: marzipan, cherry pie, spiced vanilla meringue, coconut-almond custard. The same specific set of descriptors are repeated so consistently that I imagine the plant's scent must be very specific.
I can spot the descriptors. In monster perfumes like Loulou and Datura Noir but also in more delicate compositions like Ellena's l'Eau d'Hiver for Frédéric Malle and Kiss Me Tender. I totally dig Jour de Fete and l'Heure Bleue makes me weep. Also, I'm American, so I suppose both cherry pie and a tendency to self-deception are part of my psyche. All this to say, over the years, in my head I've come to believe that I know what heliotrope smells like when in fact, I don't. It's a false memory.
Actually, it's not heliotrope that I have in my mind's nose so much as heliotropin, the material used to create those gorgeous vintage orientals like Coty l'Origan and Guerlain Vol de Nuit and classic carnations like Caron Bellodgia. The first time I tried Etro Heliotrope it felt familiar, but just out of reach, like a misfiled memory. The recognition was instantaneous but understanding lagged with a drawn out, tip-of-my-tongue dissatisfaction. It was only when I re-spritzed a couple of hours later that I made the association between the perfume under my nose and the fantasy in my head. Is this the Proustian madeleine for this particular point in the 21st century? No transcendent moment, just a simple, satisfying connection? An itch scratched?
I suppose it's a bit small for Proust and it's not so much memory as a recognition of things imagined. Still it was informative to be confronted with the realization of what amounts to an olfactory hallucination. A little glimpse into how I make sense, or fiction, out of scent.
As for the perfume, it's all there---the pie, the meringue, the marzipan. But it has an unexpected confluence of textures and tones. It's expansive and heady at the same time that it seems a little remote, like the scent is coming from further away than my wrist. The spiciness creates a bubbly quality as if the scent were carbonated but at the same time, there is a hint of play-doh and paste that creates a matte finish and an introverted impression.
I don't think of Etro as a line that veers too far into experiments in abstraction but Heliotrope is actually sort of wild. It's built from a bizarre combination of scents. It balances the high-pitched insecticide sting of cyanide almonds and the scent of stones in dried clay soil. Like eating marzipan pastries in a musty basement or root cellar.
Avant garde, vanguard, avant courier? Ground-breaking, rule-bending? Listen up, groovy indie brands. This dandy fashion house has stolen your lunch with simple creativity.
Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue has maintained its originality almost without competition since its inception in the early years of the 20th century. I have only encountered two attempts to give it a run for its money: the now sadly discontinued Caron's Farnesiana; and Etro's Heliotrope.
The impression for me of all three is that of a pastry shop in high gear with the scents of almond and vanilla creams and honeyed glazes, a mix of almond, heliotrope, vanilla, mimosa and honey itself. This is what you get with Etro's Heliotrope. It's delicious. It may not be as expertly blended as LHB, but it is a wonderful gourmand in and of itself, making use of high quality materials, and beautifully bottled and packaged.
A winner in my book from Etro, whose concentrations of oils more closely resemble those of an edp than the labels of edc and edt they advertise. In other words, a little goes a long way.
Imagine Caron Farnesiana or Guerlain Aprés L'Ondèe after having undergone a serious slimming regime...
A lean, soft, elegant backbone of almond, heliotrope, vanilla and tonka bean, with just a powdery hint of fluffy flowers and that wonderful "doll skin" effect!
Heliotrope is a simple, yet very poetic fragrance, perfect, I guess, whenever one is seeking comfort and sweetness.